THE IT: Nua Swimwear

Clara Fortini, the designer of Nua Swimwear. Story and photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

It’s the dog days of summer and your first collection is about to debut. Your models are prepping in what could be a closet. There’s no lighting on the runway. And your line is all swimsuits.

Talk about a baptism by fire.

But Clara Fortini, a sociology grad and former flight attendant, emerged triumphant from the launch of Nua, her fashion-forward swimwear line, last weekend at a King West nightclub. Christened with elegant Portuguese identities—Ferro (Iron) and Cobre Tudo (Cover Everything)—her designs captivated a jostling Friday night crowd.

“I wanted people to see that you can pair these suits with a pair of tights or micro shorts,” Fortini explains. “You’re seeing more and more pool parties where there is the element of being in the pool and then going to the club right afterwards. This season I did the one-sleeve and the hoodie, and I want to go even above and beyond that. I’m trying to push the envelope just a little bit for women who are looking for something different in swimwear.”

What was the inspiration for Nua, and how did you decide to start with swimwear?

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